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Full Version: Cal Expo: Siegel Registers Double To Kickoff Meet
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Siegel registers double to kick off meet
By Mark Ratzky, publicity – Cal Expo Harness
 
David Siegel got a solid start to the meet last Saturday night while guiding a pair of pacers into the winner’s circle.
 
Native’s Revenge, who is co-owned by Siegel and trainer Bob Johnson, got the job done in the third race on opening night card, with Walker Meister posting a $38 surprise in the 12th race with Siegel handling the lines for trainer George Reider.
 
“Bob (Johnson) has had nice success with Native’s Revenge here after a challenging campaign at Running Aces,” Siegel noted. “He’s a classy horse and seems to really like the track.
 
“I was looking for a reliable horse to buy a piece of in Bob’s barn to diversity my holdings and Native’s Revenge fit the bill. So when he returned to the left coast, I purchased a piece of him and was fortunate that he fit the bottom conditioned class in his first start and returned to his old winning form here.”
 
David added that Native’s Revenge is being pointed for the Alan Horowitz series, with the opening leg of that event scheduled for Saturday, November 11.
 
A few hours after prevailing with Native’s Revenge, Siegel once again got his picture taken after working out a pefect trip with Walker Meister and lighting up the toteboard in the process.
 
“It’s somewhat similar in that he had not been racing in great form at Running Aces,” Siegel said. “It seems like Walker Meister has fared best here in California.
 
“George approaches the return of his horses with a long-term view, that is six months of racing ahead, and he also wanted to give the barn a nice breather after Aces. So, as expected, most of his horses were a little short last week.
 
“I had a conservative plan for Walker Meister, but when I looked left from the seven hole, there were very few that had that ‘leave’ look so I jumped out of there along with the horse I thought I had to beat in Hi Ho’s Little Rev.
 
“Mooney (Svendsen) did the right thing with that horse and retook. At that point I knew Bobby Johnson’s horses were all ready to rock and roll on opening night and I thought I could be good enough to be second.
 
“But Walker Meister kept right up at the half and that’s when I thought I just might get there. By the three-quarter pole I had a good feeling I would win and the gelding was solid.
 
“I use Speed Ratings and his 77 was about 10 points up from his recent Running Aces efforts. No doubt he likes the Cal Expo surface and maybe just likes being home. He’ll have to step up now, but the way he raced I expect him to be quite competitive.”
 
Open Trot, Pick 5 carryover in spotlight
 
A $6,600 Open Trot and a Pick 5 carryover of $4,400 with a $20,000-guaranteed pool head the program Friday night at Cal Expo.
 
The trotters and pacers are now in action on Friday and Saturday evenings under the banner of Watch and Wager LLC with first post set for 6:10 p.m. There will be 10 races  on both Friday and Saturday.
 
The Pick 5 is a 50-cent wager which is conducted on the first five races each night and features a reduced 16 percent takeout rate. That low takeout is also offered on the 20-cent Pick 4 that covers the penultimate four races on the card.
 
Looking at the featured Open Trot, racing secretary Robin Schadt has assigned the Luke Plano trained-and-driven Pridecrest the outside post in the cast of seven, with the other six sidewheelers drawing their slots.
 
A 5-year-old son of Angus Hall, Pridecrest carries the hopes of Mark Hinshaw and invades from the Midwest having met some solid company at Hawthorne and Hoosier Park this season.
 
He scored his most recent victory in an Open event on August 26 over a good track at Hawthorne, as he set a stalking journey that evening and ignited in the stretch to win going away by 2 1/4 lengths while rewarding his backers as an 11-1 shot.
 
Taking him on, from the rail out: Agrestores Comet with Chip Lackey; Becky Badger Baby, Nick Roland; Itzaziam, to be handled by Sean Smithpeters; Talkin Tootsie, Mooney Svendsen; and Silverlode with Steve Desomer.